All that “rebirth” talk and the hoopla that brought Melo and Amar’e Stoudamire together didn’t do much for the Knicks in the long run.
They got embarrassed in round one of the NBA playoffs, not even getting one W before getting sent packing.
The New York Knicks hadn’t won a postseason game since 2001, and the Boston Celtics hadn’t swept a playoff series since 1992. So something had to give when the two teams met for Game 4 of their first round series at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon.
With the Knicks banged up and the Celtics playing better each game, New York’s streak will live on for at least another year. Meanwhile, Boston moves on to face the Miami Heat or the Philadelphia 76ers in the conference semifinals, thanks to a 101-89 victory that completed a four-game sweep.
When the series began a week ago, it was about a rivalry, six All-Stars, and a battle between a great offense and a great defense. But with the passing of each game, it became only about the Celtics’ ability to get themselves into playoff form in preparation for what should be an epic series with the Heat, who still have some business to take care of after dropping Game 4 in Philadelphia on Sunday.
Simply, the Celtics were the better team in this series. As long as they played like it, they were going to move on — no matter how healthy the Knicks were.
There were some scary moments for the Celtics in the first two games and a big Knicks run near the end of Game 4. But for the most part, the defending Eastern Conference champs kept the Knicks’ high-octane offense in check, allowing New York to score more than 24 points in a quarter just once in each game.
Awww. Maybe next year, Knicks fans… don’t hold your breath though.